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Advanced Science - 2023 - Charlton - Microstructural and Rheological Transitions in Bacterial Biofilms.pdf (4.7 MB)

Microstructural and rheological transitions in bacterial biofilms

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posted on 2024-02-12, 13:38 authored by Samuel GV Charlton, Amber N Bible, Eleonora Secchi, Jennifer L Morrell‐Falvey, Scott T Retterer, Thomas P Curtis, Jinju ChenJinju Chen, Saikat Jana

Biofilms are aggregated bacterial communities structured within an extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM controls biofilm architecture and confers mechanical resistance against shear forces. From a physical perspective, biofilms can be described as colloidal gels, where bacterial cells are analogous to colloidal particles distributed in the polymeric ECM. However, the influence of the ECM in altering the cellular packing fraction (ϕ) and the resulting viscoelastic behavior of biofilm remains unexplored. Using biofilms of Pantoea sp. (WT) and its mutant (ΔUDP), the correlation between biofilm structure and its viscoelastic response is investigated. Experiments show that the reduction of exopolysaccharide production in ΔUDP biofilms corresponds with a seven‐fold increase in ϕ, resulting in a colloidal glass‐like structure. Consequently, the rheological signatures become altered, with the WT behaving like a weak gel, whilst the ΔUDP displayed a glass‐like rheological signature. By co‐culturing the two strains, biofilm ϕ is modulated which allows us to explore the structural changes and capture a change in viscoelastic response from a weak to a strong gel, and to a colloidal glass‐like state. The results reveal the role of exopolysaccharide in mediating a structural transition in biofilms and demonstrate a correlation between biofilm structure and viscoelastic response.

Funding

An New Frontier in Design: The Simulation of Open Engineered Biological Systems

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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Genomic Science Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research

The role of ambient flow and physico-chemical microenvironment in determining the microstructure of the biofilm matrix

Swiss National Science Foundation

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History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Materials

Published in

Advanced Science

Volume

10

Issue

27

Publisher

Wiley

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Publication date

2023-07-31

Copyright date

2023

ISSN

2198-3844

eISSN

2198-3844

Language

  • en

Depositor

Prof Jinju Chen. Deposit date: 11 February 2024

Article number

2207373

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